Mex­i­can city named world’s top des­ti­na­tion

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Travel -

SAN Miguel de Al­lende has been named the top ur­ban city of 2017 by read­ers of Travel + Leisure mag­a­zine, for its se­duc­tive mix of ope­nair cafes, ar­ti­san cul­ture, and colo­nial charm.

In the 2017 edi­tion of the pub­li­ca­tion’s World’s Best Awards which solic­its reader in­put, San Miguel de Al­lende took top hon­ours, mark­ing a first for both the city and the awards, now in its 22th year. The city in cen­tral Mex­ico at­tracts vis­i­tors for its well-pre­served his­toric cen­tre, colo­nial ar­chi­tec­ture, leafy plaza, and rows of in­de­pen­dent bou­tiques which line old cob­ble­stone streets. The for­ti­fied town, which was founded in the 16th cen­tury, was also in­scribed as a Unesco World Her­itage Site in 2008.

“San Miguel is one of the most au­then­tic, cre­ative and cost-ef­fec­tive des­ti­na­tions we’ve vis­ited,” wrote one reader.

“Over the years we’ve dis­cov­ered more great restau­rants and ac­tiv­i­ties, but the town still main­tains its Mex­i­can her­itage, cul­ture and charm.”

Only a few per­cent­age points sep­a­rate San Miguel de Al­lende from its clos­est ri­val, Charleston, South Carolina.

Along with nab­bing sec­ond spot on the global list, Charleston was named the top city in the United States for the fifth con­sec­u­tive year. It’s also the sole Amer­i­can city to land a spot on the top 10 list over­all.

Round­ing out the top five spots are Chi­ang Mai, Thai­land; Ky­oto, Ja­pan; and Florence, Italy.

This year’s re­sults also sig­nal a ris­ing in­ter­est and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Asia, as more than half (seven) of the top 15 cities hailed from the re­gion.

While vastly dif­fer­ent, ed­i­tors note that com­mon de­nom­i­na­tors can be found among this year’s top-rated cities, such as pedes­trian-friendly fea­tures, am­ple green space and a rich his­tory that’s been thought­fully pre­served.

Here are the top 15 cities on Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2017.

1. San Miguel de Al­lende, Mex­ico

2. Charleston, South Carolina

3. Chi­ang Mai, Thai­land

4. Ky­oto, Ja­pan

5. Florence, Italy

6. Oax­aca, Mex­ico

7. Hoi An, Viet­nam

8. Cape Town, South Africa

9. Ubud, In­done­sia

10. Luang Pra­bang, Laos

11. Santa Fe, New Mex­ico

12. Rome, Italy

13. Siem Reap, Cam­bo­dia

14. Udaipur, In­dia

15. Barcelona, Spain

View of San Miguel Ar­can­gel cathe­dral in San Miguel de Al­lende, Mex­ico. — AFP Re­laxnews

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